Graphite for Beginners: An Introduction to Graphite | Imran Mughal | Skillshare

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Graphite for Beginners: An Introduction to Graphite

teacher avatar Imran Mughal, Graphic Designer & Illustrator

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

16 Lessons (1h 29m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Types of Graphite

    • 3. Graphite Grading Numbers

    • 4. Surfaces

    • 5. Sharpening Tools

    • 6. Blending Tools

    • 7. Erasing Tools

    • 8. Easy Blending Exercise

    • 9. Creating Blending Variance

    • 10. Contrast Exercise

    • 11. Dark Tones

    • 12. Adding Highlights

    • 13. Creating Textures

    • 14. Class Project

    • 15. Quick Sketch

    • 16. Final Thoughts

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About This Class

Always wanted to work with graphite and produce beautiful sketches and illustrations? Not sure what all those B and H numbers mean or the difference between mechanical and clutch pencils? Then this class is perfect for you!

In this class, we will

  • Explore some of the different types of graphite available
  • Go through the meanings of the grading numbers (the HBs and 2Bs!)
  • Demonstrate graphite on different paper surfaces
  • Look at the various tools to enhance your experience of graphite such as sharpening, blending and erasing tools

We will also delve into exercises for blending, contrast creation, adding highlights and making textures.

On completion of this class, you will be able to apply and practice all the techniques demonstrated in the exercises in your very own graphite illustration.

This class will give you the direction and basic knowledge for you to be able to quickly start working with graphite, without having to buy every graphite pencil and supplies available on earth!

This class is aimed at beginners with no prior knowledge required at all.

All materials used and demonstrated will be explained and links will be provided in the resource sheet to enable easy access if required.

My name is Imran Mughal, and I’m a graphic designer, illustrator and artist and am totally obsessed with art and art materials! You can get in touch with me on my social media channels and can ask me any question you like on this class.

So sit back, relax, and lets get started!

SketchingFineArt Instagram

SketchingFineArt YouTube channel

Meet Your Teacher

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Imran Mughal

Graphic Designer & Illustrator


I'm Imran - graphic designer & illustrator based in the UK. I have over 10 years experience in the field of graphic design and illustration in both traditional and digital output and absolutely love all things to do with art!

In addition to my full-time graphic designer role, I am also the art wellbeing lead for my organisation where I deliver wellbeing classes and advocate mindful colouring to relax and de-stress - check out my published colouring books for adults:

In addition to my design & illustration life, I am an active father of 3, oh and I'm naturally addicted to coffee! My illustration classes are all about getting back to basics mainly with traditional mediums and escaping away to relax with art!

I love to ... See full profile

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1. Introduction: Welcome to my class, graphite for beginners. My name is Tim Ryan. I'm a graphic designer and illustrator and this class is for anybody who wants to learn the basics of graphites whether you're a complete beginner or whether you're somebody who wants a quick little refresher course if it's been a while, like you've not done any work in graphites. In this class, we will be looking at the different types of graphite that you can get in the stalls and the different formats that graphite is available in. We will also be looking into the details of the H numbers and B numbers, the different grading numbers of graphite that we have at the end of your pencils. We will explore different surfaces that we can use graphite tone to produce different effects and textures and then we will also be looking at some of the important tools that you need to really enhance your experience of using graphite. We will then delve into some exercise where we will be looking at how to blend using different blending tools, how to create blending variances really easily, how to create deep contrast in your art work, how to also add highlights and add textures to your overall illustrations. On completing these exercises in the lessons of this class, you will be able to explore and experiment and implement all of those techniques and tools that we have discussed in your very own class projects of a beautiful illustration. What are you waiting for? Grab yourself a nice drink, get yourself a nice treat, sit back, relax, and let's get started with this class. 2. Types of Graphite: Let's talk about the different types of graphite that we have available. Firstly, let's look at the standard wooden-cased pencil. These are cheap to buy, readily available, easy to sharpen, and available in many different grades from 9b to 9h, which we will discuss later on in the class. You can use these on many different surfaces, to produce detailed lines, and also use on the side for shading. However, the only one main problem with this type of pencil is that you've got to constantly sharpen it and that will eventually lead to wear down in size and ultimately unable to eventually use. That's the basics of the standard pencil. Let's move on to the next one.The second pencil is the mechanical pencil. This is effectively a lead holder. So we don't need to do any sharpening because we're just going to be buying leads which are replaceable. The leads come in various grades and sizes from 0.3 mil all the way to 0.9 mil. You have a lot of precise control and constant thickness of line because the leads are so thin. However, with this type of pencil, the leads do tend to break quite easily when handling them or when using the actual pencil with pressure. It's very difficult to maintain side shading because of the thinness of the diameter of these leads, less variance of line. Generally the actual lead holders are a lot more expensive to buy, but they do come in a price range from mid-range, all the way to very premium range. The third pencil that we're going to be looking at is the clutch pencil. Now this is very similar to the mechanical pencil. However, it differs in the fact that you can actually release the entire lead and vary the length of the lead according to your own preference. Therefore, it's actually a clutch mechanism which opens and closes. Whereas with a mechanical pencil it was just a push mechanism, this one is a clutch mechanism. Now, the leads in this can actually be sharpened with a pointer sharpener, or they can be sanded down. But we will look at this in one of the next upcoming lessons in the class where we will look at sharpness in much more detail. You can use this lead on the side for shading to produce beautiful shades, and gradients, and textures. The leads come in various grades and different sizes. But the sizes again are much thicker. They start at two millimeter and go all the way up to 5.6 millimeters. Price range is very similar to mechanical. You get the best models, and the best prices, and you can get all the weights of very expensive premium quality clutch pencils. The biggest difference would be the actual price of the leads themselves. Because they are full length leads and they are a lot thicker, they do tend to be a lot more expensive. The final pencil that we are going to look at is the woodless pencil. Now this pencil comes in various lead grades as with the other pencils. The only difference is that there is no wood casing or no holder for this pencil. It's purely just a stick of graphite that has been sharpened at one end. Now, these are great for wide coverage to cover up big areas on your surface by using the side of the pencil to create really nice shading and texture quite easily. You can use it to produce detailed lines. The only issue with this pencil, I would say, is that it is quite heavy in weight. That does get a bit of getting used to. It can be a little bit more messy because you tend to touch the graphite quite a lot where the tip is. However, overall, it's a great pencil to use and it's not very expensive. It can also be used to produce really good graphite dust with just a sharp blade or the sharp part of a scissor. That again, works really well. Let's just do some recommendations of these four pencils that we've highlighted. Firstly, I would absolutely recommend getting a set of standard pencils. Now, these pencils are readily available that you can easily get a huge range of grades in them. We will cover the grading and the numbers of the pencils in the next lesson. Absolutely get yourself some of the standard pencils that we have. But the main thing to look out for is to get yourself a decent brand. Because with all materials, the user experience, your own experience will completely be determined by the quality of the materials that you use. So I would recommend getting yourself a good quality standard pencil. Now if you're struggling to find a good quality pencil, you're not sure which brand you should go for, then have a look at the resource sheet that I have provided with this class. It's on the Projects and Resources tab. Just scroll down and have a look at this. All the links to all the brands that I recommend from my own personal experience are there. So do check that out and get yourself a nice set of standard graphite pencils. Number 2, we looked at the mechanical and the clutch pencils. I would say out of both of these, I probably wouldn't recommend getting them both. I would probably say just get the mechanical pencil with a thin lead. Now with a thin lead, I would say you only need 0.5 millimeter lead. That's the common lead that I use in all of my artwork. So I would suggest go for that. Again, these pencils come in a different price range. You can get them really, really cheap. You can get very premium, all-metal uni-body pencils. Again, in the resource sheet, I've put down the ones that I recommend. I would go for a mid-range pencil and maybe get yourself a pack of just normal HB lead. Again, we're going to cover the gradings and the lead numbers in the next lesson. We will cover it for mechanical pencils as well. With the clutch pencil, if it's something you really want to try out then by all means go and get yourself a clutch pencil as well. The recommended clutch pencils that I use are in the resource sheet, so do check them out. Finally, we looked at the woodless pencil. Now this pencil, I would say just get yourself maybe one of these, just to see what it's like. You probably won't be using this all the time, but again, it's just nice to have some things that vary your experience with an art material. Again, it's fairly cheap. It's nothing compared to the mechanical and clutch pencil in terms of price. You can get really expensive versions of these but again, in the resource sheet, there's links to all the different brands that I've used in the past. So I do recommend them. Overall, I would say standard pencil, absolutely, mechanical pencil, absolutely go for that, and go for the woodless pencil. If you really want, go for the clutch pencil. Let's move on now to the different grading of the pencils. The pencil numbers that we all know and some of us don't know. We've got the HBs and the 2Bs. Let's go through that in the next one. I'll see you on the next lesson. 3. Graphite Grading Numbers: Let's now look at the graphite grading numbers of our graphite pencils. Before we start, let's just talk a little bit about the actual lead that's inside your pencil. The lead is typically made up of graphite and clay. The proportion or the ratio of graphite to clay will determine how dark or light your pencil marks will be. So let's now move on to the actual scale itself. So if you can see here on the screen, we have numbers and letters. If we divide it up into two, on the right-hand side we have the B numbers, and on the left-hand side we have the H numbers. So let's concentrate on the B numbers. The B basically stands for black or blackness, and the number in front of the B will determine the intensity of that black or blackness of that particular graphite. The H numbers on the left side stand for hard or hardness and the same principle applies. The higher the number, the harder that particular pencil will be and the lighter the mark will be that you can make with it. Now, if you notice that right at the beginning where you have the B and the H, it doesn't really say 1B, but in actual fact it should be 1B. That's where the scale starts off from, it's starts as 1B, 2B, 3B, 4B, all the way to 9B. The same for H, it starts with H, 2H, 3H but the H actually represents 1H, but they tend to leave the one outs and the same goes for B. So that's pretty much the scales on the right side and the left side, the black and the hard and that's basically it and the missing ones in the middle, the fine point and the HB. Now, the fine point is just a bit before the hard pencils start. You can sharpen this to a pretty much fine point as it says. Then the HB is the midpoint pencil, which we all commonly know as our main pencil that we get in most sets and the ones that we've probably used on a daily basis. So these are kind of the midpoint grades of pencils that you start on each end of the scale and that's pretty much it. It's not more complicated than that. You basically have three letters, B's, H's, and F. So let's now move on to the B numbers again and look at what these numbers mean in details. The black numbers or the blackness numbers, the B numbers, they have maximum graphites in them as you go up in the numbers. The 9B has the most graphites in it in comparison to clay. That makes it more softer and it makes it more creamier in terms of texture and that gives you the darkest mark that you can make with it. Now with this 9B pencil, which again is the most softer of this scale, they will run down really quickly when you use them. See you often need to sharpen them much more often than the H pencils and they do have a very soft consistency, so they do tend to crumble quite quickly. So that's something to bear in mind. These pencils, the B pencils are good for loose sketching, expressive artwork, deep shading to create beautiful contrast work. In fact, these are the pencils that I use more often than not for a lot of the artwork that I produce. On the other side, looking at the H pencils. These again, on the opposite way, they have maximum clay in them. So the 9H has the most clay to graphite ratio and that makes it a harder consistency and therefore, you will have a lighter mark that you make with your pencil. These pencils are really good for light on the sketching, technical artwork, artwork that doesn't require a lot of shading or to produce loose, expressive lines. You'll be able to maintain a very good point with these pencils, especially as you go higher up in the numbers, the 6H all the way to 9H. The pencils won't wear down as much, but you do have disadvantage of that, that they tend to scratch the paper and feel a little bit scratchy in themselves. Now, let's look at the recommendation for this class. I would personally say that you should go for a pack of standard pencils or if your option is to just buy single pencils, then maybe go for the ones that I've highlighted on the screen, a 2H to starts off in the H numbers then a standard HB and a 4B and an 8B. This will give you a nice value range for you to produce light all the way to dark tones on your artwork and for to practice on. Or if you tend to go for the set of pencils and again, all the sets that I recommend are going to be in the resource sheet. If you go for a smaller set that are more towards the B numbers, that would work great. Or if you decide to go ahead and get yourself a big set that contain most of the H numbers and the B numbers that will also work really well. But if you're just restricting yourself just to refer a few pencils. Again, I would probably recommend just to have a few pencils for the beginner level, just so you get used to it. Then I would suggest, as I said, 2H, HB, 4B and 8B, that will give you a good start off point in the world of graphite pencils and grading numbers. Again, with the mechanical pencil or the clutch pencil or even the woodless pencil, I wouldn't recommend getting every single grade of graphite to go inside these pencils because again, they can become quite pricey, especially for the clutch pencil. So basically I would say maybe just get yourself a HB pencil and a 4B pencil for all of them really. With the wordless pencil, if you really want, get yourself a 4B or I would just stick to the HB because HB itself is quite good and I don't think you'll be using it as often but it's just good to have. So that will be my overall recommendation for this beginner's class. Get yourself some standard pencils in these grades and if you go for the mechanical pencil option as well, then get yourself a couple of leads for the mechanical pencil by all means if you want to get more leads or different leads go ahead and do that. It's entirely up to you. But just as a start off point, I would personally recommend the numbers that we have on screen here. So we've gone through the graphite numbers now. Let's now look in more detail at the different surfaces that we can apply our lovely graphite pencils on. So let's move on to that on the next one. 4. Surfaces: Welcome back. Let's talk quickly now about some of the surfaces that I would recommend for you to use your graphite pencils on, especially in this beginner's class in graphite. I've divided this into mainly paper-based surfaces, and the first one is just basic paper. Now this is available in printer paper format or just a cheap craft scribbling book that you can get from the Pound Shop. These work great for just doodling on, and just to practice your pencil on, however, I do not recommend getting this paper to do the exercises for this class, or for you to do some serious work using graphite, because you will just lose the quality of how the graphite it is to the paper and how to manipulate that graphite, because basic paper is really thin and doesn't have much tooth to it, you're not really going to achieve the greatest results, unless that's the type of result that you're after, but it's a great paper to have on the side, just to practice on, just actually practice on doodling or scribbling, or just to keep those memory muscles going. One of the main of the disadvantages, are that they're usually inconsistent in texture, so you're always going to get different result whenever you use basic cheap paper. Moving on to the second type of paper, which is cartridge paper, this is my absolute number one recommendation for this class, purely because you can get this in different textures, and grades, and you have a consistent quality of paper, this results in better results, deeper contrast and highly adherence of graphite to the actual tooth of the surface. Now this cartridge paper comes in different variants, it comes in different formats. I've listed the recommended brands and types of cartridge paper in the resource sheet for you to have a look at, but generally speaking, I would personally recommend getting a mid range, heavy weight cartridge paper, that's not too smooth and that's not too rough or textured, that way your graphite pencil will adhere to it, and you'll be able to get some decent variations of texture in your illustration, so cartridge paper absolutely vital in my opinion for graphite work, however, one of the main disadvantages of cartridge paper is that it's a lot more expensive, and especially when you go and select the higher brands, it can get very pricey, so again, I've left the link to all the ones that I personally recommend, and they're all from a different budget range value, so it's which ever one you would prefer to use, I would go for that one. Finally, let's look at the last paper-based surface, which is watercolor paper. Now, I know you might be thinking watercolor paper, why is he talking about watercolor paper for graphite? Well, the thing is that watercolor paper is one of the most superior papers that you can actually buy, that's purely because it has a special coating on it and it comes in very heavy grades, whereas, with the cartridge paper, you tend to get 100 GSM, 200, the value range usually goes from 100 GSM all the way to 200 to 250, and sometimes 300 GSM, and GSM is just grams per square meter, which refers to the weight of the paper, whereas with watercolor paper, usually the standard is 300 GSM, and that's because its created to absorb and hold water, so it doesn't cripple or mess up when you're actually using your watercolor. This works as an advantage for graphite, because the texture is so strong in the actual watercolor paper itself, the graphite will adhere to it really well, and that's from personal experience, I've used watercolor paper from different grades, I highly recommend it, however, with watercolor paper, one of the biggest problems is that it's very expensive, especially if you go down the Arches or to Fabriano Roots, now these brands are very expensive, I would not recommend you get these brands, however, if you already have these brands with you, and if you already doing water color, then try it out with your graphite pencils, especially using these papers to produce nice variations of line and value, and try out the exercises and the class project on it, if you have watercolor paper. It usually comes in a three grades where you have a hot press, which is a smooth finish, or cold press, which is a medium smooth to rough finish, and then finally a rough finish, which is a highly textured finish. I personally would recommend going for the hot pressed for this actual class if you have it, that way you've got a nice variants and different options to use your graphite pencil on. Basically, that's all we have for the surfaces that I would recommend on this stage, you can use graphite on many other surfaces, you can use it on wood, cotton canvas, you can use it on even some matte plastics, I mean, you can literally use graphite on anything, however, I would just stick to just paper-based surfaces for this beginner's class. That's pretty much it, let's now move on to the next one. 5. Sharpening Tools: Welcome back. Let's quickly talk about some basic sharpening tools that we have available for our lovely graphite pencils, starting off with the basic sharpener. Now this is the sharpener that we all well and truly know, when we'll have loads of these lying around in our house. We can use these for our standard pencils, and if you like you could use something a little bit more rigid, such as this staedler kind of container pencil. It works really nice where you can have a decent grip on it to sharpen your pencil, and that will work very well, quick and easy with less mess. Moving on to the second sharpener, we have the long point sharpener. Now this is one of my favorite sharpeners.If you're not familiar with this type of sharpener, this basically has two entry points where you sharpen. With the first entry point that pretty much shaves off the wooden casing to a long point further down the barrel compared to a basic sharpener. What this does is, it starts revealing the graphite. But it doesn't sharpen the graphite, it just starts making the graphite emerge, and then you move on to the second point, and what that does is that starts shaping and sharpening up just the graphite element and you're left with a nice long point sharpened pencil. Works really nice and I would recommend this, if this is something that you'd like to try out. Thirdly, I would say go for a blade or a knife. Now you've got to be really careful when you're using a blade or a knife. The technique usually is to use your thumb to push the actual blade against the wooden casing that pretty much carves away the shape of the pencil. Try avoiding pressing down too hard with this, take your time, and it's just basically up to the point where the graphite lead is started becoming bear. That's the point where you want to stop, and then you can fine tune it using the edge of the blade just to scrape off bad graphite and this works really well. You have a nice long extended points. But again, be very careful if you're going to do this, again avoid it if you can, just do it if you already used to doing it. Please do not cut yourself. Finally, we have a sandpaper which you can use.You may not be aware of this, but you can actually sand down the tips of your pencils with some fine sandpaper like I've got here. All the tools that I've shown in this lesson again, will be available to see on the resource sheet feeds to have a look at. I do recommend it and another advantage of using sandpaper is that you're left with a nice bit of graphite dust, so you have literally no wastage. You can use that graphite dust to create some nice blends of graphite with blenders and cotton wool that we will come on to in one of the next lessons. That's pretty much it for the standard pencil. The final thing that we've got is the pointer for our clutch pencil. Now if you remember the clutch pencil that we had, we had some nice thick long legs or the problem is that you can't sharpen them, so we have a solution, we have a pointer. What you do with this is you just add your pencil lead to it while it's in the holder and just give it a swivel in a clockwise direction. What that does is, the blades inside the pointer sharpen up the edge of that graphite stick. You can save the longer you do this for, the more sharper that point will be. Works really nice, can be a little bit pricey but however, if you have got a clutch pencil like this, and I would highly recommend getting one of these. You can also sand it down with sandpaper like you did with the standard pencils, that would work just as well. That's pretty much it for the basic sharpeners and sharpening tools. Go for whichever one you like, whichever one's easy to access and keep them pencils sharp. Let's move on to the next one. 6. Blending Tools: Welcome back. Let's now talk a little bit about blending tools. We're going to start off with the one that's free and yes, that's your fingers. You can use your finger to blend out graphite. I've just got a little bit of graphite here. This is just a standard TB pencil. I'm just using my finger in circular motions to blend out that graphite, to remove all the harsh texture and lines and this works really well. However, the biggest disadvantage is that you're going to have messy fingers and with messy fingers, what happens is you tend to touch parts of your paper or artwork that ends up getting smudgy, so it's not really ideal. I tend not to usually use my finger that much. However, when I don't have a tool that's accessible, I'll sometimes go in and use my finger. An advantage is you have quite a lot of fingers, so you can actually switch from one finger to the other. The second tool is a soft tissue. Now, before you use a tissue, you just need to ensure that this tissue itself doesn't have texture on it, because what a textured tissue will do is just wipe away all the graphite that you have on your surface. A nice soft tissue will work really well and you can quickly and easily blend out all that graphite with hardly any effort. Now a good way to do this is if you wrap the particular tissue that you're using around your finger and then just grab hold of the remaining parts of the tissue in your palm and use it as if you were using your finger, that's the most efficient way to use tissue. Looking at the third blending tool, let's focus on the good old blending stump. Now, these are really cheap and affordable. You can get these in all our stores. The brands don't really make that much of difference so any decent branded blending stump will work really well. Now the advantage of this is that you have a lot of control when you're blending out your graphite. I would advise you to use circular motions for this. Try avoiding going backward and forward in the same direction, because what that will do is cause harsh lumps of blending or harsh lines. To create a really nice smooth effect, the equal circular motion would really work well. Now this probably isn't a good tool to use to blend out huge areas on your page. Just to focus on small parts, I would highly recommend this. Again, the control is just amazing. The fourth tool that we're going to look at is the good hold cotton wool. Now, this comes in different forms, formats, and sizes. You can get cotton air bods, you can get cotton wool pads like I've got here, or you can just get cotton wool bods. It makes no difference which one you use. However, the cotton sticks, the air bods, they great to use for detail, small precise areas that you want to blend and they work really well. They're so cheap and easily available. However, they do take off quite a lot of graphite when you're using them, so do apply small amounts of pressure when you doing this. Again, use the circular motions to create a beautiful blend of graphite to really blend out all those harsh lines and textures. Again, it works really fast, really easy to work and you usually get packs of 50 to 100 of these. You will have lots of these available and they usually have the cotton part on both ends of the stick. Using the cotton wool discs, these are great to use because they have more of a flat texture on one side and on the inside they have a very fluffy soft texture. You use your finger to press down and use those circular motions to really blend out that graphite and it gives awesome, beautiful results. Again, if you open up the cotton wool to reveal that fluffy side, this will give you an even softer blend. If you want areas of your artwork to be very light and soft, I would highly recommend that you use these cotton wool discs or even just normal cotton wool boards, they will do exactly the same in terms of results. Final tool is just an ordinary brush. Now, you can use a brush to blend out graphite. But you do have to be aware that the brush that you use should be fairly firm in terms of its bristles and the graphite that you lay down needs to be quite heavy, so you would need a couple of layers of graphite for a brush to actually work. You can see over here I'm using quite a firm bristle brush. Now it's working really well. You have some nice control. Just using those same circular motions, you can achieve really good results. If you use a brush that's too soft, then sometimes what happens is that it doesn't really blend out the graphite, it just moves its away. That's pretty much the final option for this basic class. There are other options that you can use, but I'd like you to just concentrate on these main five options, purely because they're readily available. That's pretty much it for the blending options. We're going to be looking at using these blending options when we create our value tones and sketches in the next coming lessons. Let's move on to the next one. 7. Erasing Tools: Welcome back. Let's talk quickly now about some erasing tools. Firstly, let's start off with the basic cheaper erasers. Now you can get these erasers is from anywhere. They're very effective. They were great, whether they're plastic erasers or just standard rubbers as we like to call them in the UK, work very effectively and create really nice, clean strokes of highlight on any type of graphite. Secondly, we'll look at some putty erasers or needle erasers. These work absolutely brilliantly, especially if you're trying to erase out or create very fine highlights that you can't do with a normal standard eraser, because you can pretty much shaped them, maneuver them into any points or shape that you require. You can create broad strokes. You can go in with a lot of detail in terms of erasing. It just works like plasticine or like blue tac. It can make some really nice white highlights onto your artwork. So easy to perform and a great little tool to have this next erasers which is the pen eraser. I absolutely love this because you have maximum control with the sap of eraser. You can get them in very thin mono sizes and you can get them in a broader size like I have here. They work as a technical pens and mechanical pencils work where you just push them from the end and you get refillable sticks of eraser that we can fit inside. This is so great for creating detail work that you could just not create with a standard eraser or even a needle eraser the work of fine detailed. You can create textures with them and create really light, cloudy puffs of cloud with them. They work absolutely amazing, versatile, and they're just so easy to handle. Especially when you've got all the pencils together, it's just a nice little tools to have. Finally, let's move onto the electric eraser. This is very much like the pen eraser, however it's battery operated. Some even come rechargeable. They have a moving clip at the beginning, which clips in and holds in the eraser piece. You can get these as refillable. When you press a button on it, it basically spins that retractable piece. When you actually applying it, you don't have to move it up and down. It's basically doing all the work for you. This actually works great when you have a lot of dark graphite that you really want to lighten up or even add details on that's pretty much it for the erasers. We have a couple of options here. I would suggest you get some pen erasers, a putty erasers and absolutely get yourself arrange of cheap erasers. Let's move on to the next month. 8. Easy Blending Exercise: Welcome back. We're going to be talking now about blending. Basically, what we're going to do is create some different shades of values using three pencils. I've got here a HB, I've a 4B, and I've got an 8B. Now, if you've got a set, it's great. Just pull out these numbers from your set or individuals. If you've also got yourself a mechanical pencil, then you can use this as well, which I will be using. But if you haven't, that's fine. Just use these three pencils. This is going to work great for this example. Now, what we're going to blend with in this particular example is a blending stump, so get yourself a blending stump, some cotton cool, but you might not have these cotton or pads. If you've just got ball of cotton ball that's fine, that work really nice. Also, just a clean soft tissue. These are going to be the tools that we use. Let's get started. What I'm going to do now is I'm going to draw a fine light outline very roath of a basic lights landscape scene that we can use to just do some nice blending techniques. Just draw yourself a simple line like this, nice in lights. I'm just using my mechanical pencil for these. You can use your HB pencil if you haven't gotten mechanical one. Once we've got this full ground line drawn in, all I want you to do is draw in a couple of shapes like I'm doing here on the screen. One coming in from this angle, going a little bit high and coming down and then one can come again from this angle, coming down like this, really nice and simple. We've got basically four different areas there. We've got this main foreground of this area, then we've got the main parts of the mid ground, which is this peak that we have here, then we've got the background part, which is here on the left and then we finally got this overhead background areas. What I want you to do now is get your lightest pencil that you have. In this case, we have a HB. Just using the side of the pencil and holding it in this position like this, I want you to just start filling in this area. Now, I'm just using a sheets of cartridge paper for this. You can use whichever paper you have, but just ensure that the paper is decent enough quality because blending will work best on a decent quality graded paper. Cartridge paper will work fine. If you have watercolor, that's even better. All I'm doing is just adding in my graphite very lightly. You don't want to press too hard. Take your time with it. Fill in this big shape that you have over here and let's continue with that. Now, you can see that I've filled in this top area really lightly with my HB pencil using side, very light pressure. It's just one layer. Now, we can move on to the next part. For that, what I want you to use is your 4B pencil. With your 4B pencil, I want you to actually go ahead and do this area. I don't want you to do this one yet. Let's go ahead and do this. You've got your 4B pencil. This one here is my 4B. Again, just using the side of the pencil with very light pressure, I just want you to add in the first layer of graphite. Just fill it up nice and evenly, not pressing hard at all. We've got that part filled in and you can see I've let some gaps at the edges. Don't worry about filling in all the edges perfectly because this is where the blending is going to come in. Now, for the actual laying down of graphite, let's just leave it at that. Put your pencil on this side. What I want you to do now is I want you to get hold of your tissue, plain tissue. Just remember, use a nice soft tissue that doesn't have any texture on it. The softer the surface, the better blend will be. Put your finger into it and wrap the tissue around your finger like this, so you've got this nice tight wrapping around and then for the rest of it, just grab hold of it, put it in the palm of your hand and there you have it. You now have a working finger that you can use to blend. What I'd like you to do is start on this left-hand side and we're going to be using circular motions to lightly blend. I don't want you to press down hard, just lightly blend like this. Just going round in these circular motions. Don't worry if you're going outside the border of your page. It makes no difference because you can erase that out later on. You see it creates in a nice soft blend with our finger using a tissue. Now, you can do this with the finger, but personally, I don't like using my finger because you've got acids on the tip of your finger and that can mess up and closely your fingers just gets a little messy down there. It's just always nice to use a soft tissue. Again, we're not doing any harsh blending, we're just going round in this circular motion to really blend out that graphite. You can see so quickly, we've hardly taken any off because we hardly had any on. That's that HB pencil and we've created this nice soft light blend that we've created with our tissues. Nicely go over it couple of times. Just remember that the more you go over it, the more graphite is going to come off, so the lighter we all could all get. If that's the effect that you want to achieve, then keep going until you get as light as possible. There we go. I'm happy with that. Just to do a final little, glide over it like this to make sure that there's no graphite particles or dust that's collected in certain areas. There you go. We've got that nice little blend. Move your tissue and put it to the side. Now what I want you to do is get your cotton cool. I'm using this cotton wool pad and if you're using a cotton wool pad like this, then what you'll notice is when you open it up, you've got a lot more softer cotton bubbles on the inside and these work great for really making things look soft. What I'm going to do is I'm going to use this inner parts of this cotton wool. I'm just going to move that other disc to the side. I'm going to again just wrap it around my finger like so. We've got this nice little wrap around and then very gently where we've got the 4B pencil in this path, I'm going to lightly use circular motions to blend this out. You can see that the blend is just super smooth on this. It works really nice, very effective indeed. Again, you can see over here, we've got the blend coming into this area, not to worry at all. We're going to add in some detail. This is just a demonstration of using different blending techniques and using different tools basically to just create those soft blends that you wouldn't really be able to create with your graphite pencil on its own. Again, press down with a little bit more pressure and you can see I'm using my thumb as well here. I'm using my thumb and my finger and my other finger down here, just pushing down a little bit hard. It works nice. Now, one thing to notice here is, when you're doing blending like this, you got to ensure that your paper is nice and secure, otherwise, the paper will move around. What I've done is I've taped my paper on each side so that it doesn't move on the table. I recommend that you do this as well especially when you're doing this type of blending technique. Carrying on, we're just making things really nice and soft. You can see there's that stark difference between the HB pencil, graphite, and the 4B pencil. You've got that nice dark tone of the 4B and then you've got that really nice light tone of the HB. You can see here it looks really nice. Now, to finish off again, just slide the cotton wool from left to right or right to left, whichever way you want just to remove those particles and give the whole thing a quick little white blow and there you have it. 9. Creating Blending Variance: What I'm going to do now is use the residue that was on the cotton wool that we had before when we used it on this 4B area. I'm going to use this to fill in this empty area that we've left on the left, so this is left pit that we've got but really far back in the distance. Just with your cotton wool, just very lightly, use those circular motions to fill in that setting. You can see it's adding the graphite to it. Now, you might not have that much residue on it. If you don't, all you need to is just slightly rub that onto the 4B and it'll add more graphite on to that cotton wool. I want this area to be really light so can see a nice difference between all three or four elements that we have on this page to really highlight how blending can be used to create variation in terms of texture and softness. There we go. You can see it's looking really nice and light and soft. You got that transition between dark, little bit darker, and then we've got light on top. But again, this is just the initial blending stage when we're working on our main sketch, which I will do towards the end of the class, you'll be able to see that how we use these techniques to create a complete picture, a complete illustration. Just again, all I'm doing is going round and blending it altogether. You can go back onto this area if you like to just cover it if you like, go from right to left and there we have it. Now, what I want you to do now is get your 8B pencil, so I've got my 8B pencil here. This is going to be the darkest pencil that we have and what I want you to do with this is I want you to just very lightly, just shading using the side of the pencil. We're not using the tip. We're not going to use the tip because the tip is mainly used for detail work. This is just adding again really light graphite. Just add it to this border edge lines. You can see this line that we initially drew, this bumpy horizon line, if you like. All we're doing is adding a light layer of this really dark 8B graphite to highlight and to create a little bit of contrast and separation in our illustrations. Just like that very light, I don't want you to go all the way down here. I just want you to just add approximately about half a centimeter of graphite in terms of height across this line. Just like this, add half centimeter or just about the size of a fingertip, height, like I have done on this demonstration. Just like that, you've got it on and no need to press hard and you can see the difference. Somehow dark as compared to the others, absolutely beautiful. What I want you to do now is get your blending stump. Now, with the blending stump, just use it like a pencil and what we're going to do is start on this left-hand side, lightly, usually circular motions to start blending this out. What we're going to do is we're going to follow the line that we've just drawn. What we want is a nice smooth with a graphite and you can see how easily that blends blending stump. One of my favorite blending tools, as I've probably mentioned before, they just work so smoothly and you have great control. The thing with the cotton wool and the cotton ball disks and pads and the tissue as well is that you can lose a lot of control, but they're good for doing for wider area coverage of your page and there is blending stumps that great suggest adding detail. As you can see, what I'm doing is I'm adding a nice little round circular motions with very light pressure not pressing down too hard. There we have it, we've got that gray little blend going on there nice little bit of texture created and it's looking great. For this exercise, this is pretty much it. What we're going to do now is we're just going to finish it off. We're going to just add in maybe a little bit more detail with our pencil. Let's just go in and just draw around the edges of those peaks that we initially drew. Just to make it look a little bit more decent and a bit more understandable, really. Let's just do that. Just like that, I've just added the baselines. What I want you to do now is just with your pencil drawing some really light lines at the bottom and adding a couple more lines. This can represent a landscape, just a very simple, very basic landscape. There we have it. That's pretty much it for this blending technique exercise lesson. You've seen that we've got this nice different gradation going on over here from light, medium to dark, and to really dark, and if you want, you can add in more details over here. If you just add in some lines coming in from the bottom and these can represent some maybe sticks of branches coming in from the bottom. You can see how easy and quick it is to add detail on top of a light blend and it works really nice. Just adding a little bit more details here and there we have it. Again, you can add in some details on these actual peak if you just want to add in some of these lines to give you a little bit of definition. A bit more interest, again, this is not a complete illustration. This is just a very small, simple demonstration of what we've got and it's entirely up to you if you want to add in small details just to gather a practice. That's why it's really all about practicing these techniques and really getting used to the idea of using blending tools rather than just using pencil on its own to really give that extra depth and quality to your work, especially if you're a beginner. I mean, most people, sometimes, they don't even know about these blending tools, whether they exist or not. I certainly didn't when I first started I used it when I was studying arts, I just use a pencil, hardly ever blended. But later on, as I became a bit more aware of the tools are available and the basic simple tools, you can achieve so much so quickly with these tools that would take you ages. In some cases, you just won't be able to achieve these results with just a pencil on its own. There you go. That's a nice quick little sketchy little landscape using normal pencil and some blending materials and only a couple of grade of pencils. Let's now move on to the next lesson where we were going to be looking more at contrast and how contrasts and values are created using graphite. Let's move on to that on the next one. 10. Contrast Exercise: Welcome back. What we're going to do now is look at some contrast work using graphite pencils. With the pencils that we used in the previous lesson, the HB, 4B and 8B, what we need to do is draw yourself a little circle using the HB pencil, and you can just do that using a compass, so just draw a rough circle. It doesn't have to be perfect. Then with that circle using your HB pencil, I've got my HB pencil here. Just lightly draw a line, one-third the way down from the circle here. What we're basically doing is we're going to be dividing this circle into three parts and then again, the next third from this side, just roughly draw yourself a line to divide this into three roughly equal parts. We've got the roughly equal parts here. What we're going to do is we're going to think about the light source hitting this circular object. I'm going to say that the light sources is coming in from here. We've got the light source coming in from the right-hand side of my screen. Then what we're going to think about is where on this sphere or a circle, we're going to have the darkest values and the lightest values. The lightest values are going to be effectively in this area over here. Then the darkest values are going to be in this area over here. In the middle we're going to have our mid value. With the HB pencil, what I want you to do is, I want you to start shading and using the side of you pencil, just the middle part. Just with the side of your pencil, I just want you to add in some graphite, and you can see the texture of the paper coming out because I'm using cartridge paper. This is a heavyweight cartridge paper that I'm using. Whichever paper you're using, you'll see the lovely texture coming out of it, it's very lightly just cover that middle part of that circle with the graphite. Now, once you've got this first base layer on, I want you to use your 8B pencil and add in that layer of graphite in the darkest area of the circle on this area here. If we just start adding this in, you don't have to be neat. If your lines come out of the circle, that's not a problem at all. All we want to do is fill it in. Now what I want you to do is you've got that first layer with your second layer of the 8B, I want you to hold the pencil in this position. Previously we were holding the pencil like this, you use the side of the pencil. I want you to start holding the pencil now in this position so that we can apply a bit more controlled pressure. I want you to start on this left side with the 8B, and very lightly, I want you to add in that graphite. We just go in up and down, add in that graphite layer up to that point where we have the divide of the circle. That quarter of the circle up to there, just add it in, not pressing down so you hard, very gently, because we're using the soft pencil, you can see how easily the graphite comes off and comes on to the actual paper itself. There you go. We've got the 8B here. Now get your HB pencil again and we're going to add in the second layer, but what I want you to do is I want you to go over the 8B with the HB. What that'll do is it'll create a smoother transition in between the two grades. You can see here, we're adding HB going in to this center area, as you can see instead of having the harsh last separation line, we've got a nice smoother transition. Again, we've not done any blending here, we're just using the graphite of the pencil to move from a darker value to a lighter value. Again, all I'm doing is filling in that circle, and there we have it. Now, I don't want you to add any graphite here because what we're going to do is we're going to use our blending stump, to start blending this in. Now what I want you to do is blend in the darker in those circular motions, starts on the edge and then work your way in. If you work your way in, like we did in the previous lesson, where we were just using circular motions and then come into the HB area and work it in, and now just like that, I want you to work in that area where we didn't have any graphite. You can see we're adding this nice light zone of graphite, which is basically the HB graphite that we're pulling over, and I want you to take it all the way to the edge of that circle. You can see how easy that was to create a value range from dark all the way to light, just using two pencils. You could have even created this just using the 8B pencil. If you had just put 8B over here and then dragged it all the way across here with your blending stump, it would have created a nice value range. Now let's think about contrast. Now this is the darkest parts of the circle. What I want you to do is with your 8B pencil, I've got the 8B pencil here, I want you to start adding in your third layer of graphite. Now I want you to apply a little bit more pressure and add in into this area. You can see we've got this kind of crescent appearing on this circle. Just drop to this area here like I'm doing. We've got our base layers in, they're blended out. What we're doing is we're going to start adding in some contrast from dark to light in the actual circle itself. Just continue doing this. Now you can see that I've been working slightly towards the edge of this lighter area. That's fine. That's the effect that we're after. Because on a sphere, if the light is hitting this area, these areas are going to be quite dark as well. What we've done is, now we've created this contrast from dark to light. It's more of a value change. Now in terms of contrast itself, this sphere, this circle, it looks a little bit boring on its own, so it's always a nice idea to add in a further element of contrast. Now what we can do is add in our HB pencil graphite like we did before. On this side, all I want you to do is just use the side of the pencil and lightly shade in this area. Just lightly shade it in up to this area here so that we have a bit of a line. It's as if this ball, this circle is just resting on a table if you like. If you just draw yourself a rough line here, just use the side of your pencil. Then on this top left hand area, just start shading using that side. Very lightly we're not pressing down hard at all. Lovely, so we've got this nice area here. You can see on my screen I'm covering the area so that it fills up most parts of the screen. You don't have to do this if you're working on a small sheet of paper, it's fine. I'm just using an A5 sheet of cartridge paper. Just carry on like this. Bring it over to this side here. Again, what I want you to do is fill this area up with the HB pencil. Now we have our first layer of HB, what I want you to do now is get your 4B pencil. 4B pencil like we used in the previous lesson, use the side of your 4B pencil and start adding again a second layer of graphite, but this time we're starting on the right and we're going in here and we're just going to stop about this area. We're not going to go all the way to the end. Let's start that now. What we've done now is we've added our second layer of graphite with a darker value of 4B. All I'm doing here is just adding in this line, this divider line from the object and the table that it's resting on this imaginary table. Again, we're just going in again to make sure that we've got the nice coverage. You can see already we've got this contrast going on where we've got this dark area here and it starts becoming lighter, and the ball itself starts getting darker. Then that's against a lighter background. It effectively makes the object pop a little bit more. But this is going to become more dramatic as we start adding in layers which we're going to do next. 11. Dark Tones: Grab your 8B pencil now, so we're going to go darker even on the background here. With your 8B pencil, again, start on the left, and we're going to add in a layer of 8B pencil to this. We've got a nice third layer of graphite, nice, and dark, you can see a lot of the paper texture is coming out, but we're going to fix that with the cotton ball. What I want you to do is get your cotton ball, if you've got this like me as I use in the previous lesson, just lightly fold it up, get your finger in that, and with the soft side, start blending this very lightly using circular motions so that we get rid of that texture. As we did before, try now out blending in this area, but if you do over spill here, don't worry about it, we can fix that later on. Again, this is a demonstration, we're not doing a perfect illustration. You can see already so quickly that graphite is blending smooth. We're just using the circular motions. Don't go backward and forward. Just use a circular motion and work your way from one end to the other. That way, we'll have a nice smooth transition. I want you to continue now in this area here. What I'll do is that I'll make this area slightly darker, which is great, which is what we want. We want a nice smooth transition going from dark to light, and we can achieve that so easily with cotton balls. Again, all I'm doing is bringing it back. Use a clean side now, use this side here to go in. You'll notice I'm using two fingers now to do the blending, so a bit more control over it for the second blend. You can see I'm blending in up to the edge of the ball here, so that I have a nice, soft, smooth blend going all the way to that detailed sharp edge. In a few minutes, we've created such a nice contrast with some just basic tools. I think cutting wall, it just cost pennies. You don't need to spend a lot of money to be able to produce really nice work techniques and results, so there we have it. Here we have it again, we've got a nice blend, just from left to right. Just blend this out nicely. We've got ourselves a lovely blend going on over here. Again, I'm using three fingers now really to get that blend away. Left to right, left to right. On both sides, left to right again. Most of the graphite's blended out, we don't have any texture left on the page. It's looking lovely. You can see a lot of the graphites come off, but that's all good. Now what we can do is, we are going to be adding in some detail onto this ball so that we can really bring out that contrast. Using your 8B pencil, what I want you to do is, I want you to start going over this edge using the sharp part of your pencil. Now you'll notice with an 8B, if you're using an 8B just like I am, then you'll notice that there's a lot of graphite, just especially when you're adding in a little bit more pressure like this. You can see the graphite dust is literally just crumbling away from this graphite core of the pencil which it's just such a brilliant pencil to work with.Now you may have a 9B in your set, if you've got 9B, then by all means use A 9B. But you'll notice with a 9B, it's even softer as it's the most softest out of the range. But an 8B is usually a nice texture to use. Just continue doing this in circular motions over different areas, just adding in that graphite. There we have it. Now what we're going to do is use the HB pencil. Get your HB pencil and continue with that shading. Use circular motions to fill in this area, leave this area light. We don't need to worry about that, we're just going in in the circular motions to create a nice value range to effectively just create an illusion of 3D object. You can see having that background has really made it pop well as before. It was still looking a little bit blurred, a little bit flat, even with the value range that we had in the book. There we have it. We've got ourselves a nice, sharp ball on a soft background. What we can do is bring in a little bit more details here. That's pretty much it. You can see in a short amount of time, we've been able to create a lovely demonstration of how to create contrast. What we can do now is, we can also use our blending stump. If you use your blending stumps to lightly blend the edges in. If we go in without blending stump, we can get these edges all the way to the edge of the ball itself so that we don't have too much separation from the background and the main object. You can see that creates a lovely, soft blend that works absolutely beautifully. Even continue doing that on the table and here. What you can do is just bring in some streaks over, and that looks absolutely gorgeous. There we have it. Now, if you want to practice a little bit more and maybe clean up these edges by all means, go ahead and do that. Build the values and slowly go in from dark to light in these areas, and from the other areas going from light to dark. This is great practice for when you start doing a bit more of technical work or add more details to the actual illustrations that you produce in the class. That's it for the contrast area. We're adding different values to create beautiful contrast work using graphite. Now, let's move on to adding highlights. Let's move on to that one next. 12. Adding Highlights: Now, let's look at adding some highlights to our little ball illustration that we did, and for this, we are going to be using three of these tools that we have mentioned in the previous lesson on erasers, we are going to be using the pen eraser, the thin one, and the more wider one, and we are also going to be using our lovely electric erasers. Erasers are great at highlights. You can see over here we've got some nice dark work going on over here, but sometimes the highlights or the lighter areas get covered away or you get carried away with the blending and you don't know what to do to fix it. Well, the solution is to use an eraser. I'm going to be using this thin pen razor, the mono eraser set, start bringing out some nice highlights. Now, you can see just by applying very light pressure, you've got this beautiful, bright highlight on your illustration of this board. So easy to do. I mean, what a great tool this is. It works absolutely beautiful. It just moves that graphite and it creates a nice sharp highlight edge. What we can do is go in and just use this as an eraser effectively, what we are doing is we're using this as a white gel pen to add in white highlights like you would do in a color illustration if you are using markers or colored pencils, and it just works brilliantly because you've got so much control, you can design in, some really fancy highlights, and it just looks awesome. Just give that a little blow, lightly brush it away, and there you have it. How quickly we added the highlight is just amazing. Now, if we look at our thicker eraser pen, we can add in maybe some areas where it's catching light very easily. Say just like that, I'm just adding in some nice little smudge areas to add in that light, and maybe even in this area here we may have some lights elements over here, where you might be having some reflected light coming in from the table that this ball or image is on. Just remember when you are using these eraser pens, a lot of the graphite is going to cover up that eraser. The easy way to just get rid of it is just rub it away on an empty sheet of paper, or just on your table and it comes clean again. So just like that, lighten up these areas, it works absolutely brilliantly, you can see we've got such a nice quick little effect by using these brilliant tools. Now, to use the electric eraser, the advantage that we have with the electric eraser, is that you can really go into the dark areas. If we turn this on, what we do with this particular one that I have, you got to keep hold of it, on so you can actually press the button and it'll turn on and it will turn off when you want it to. What I'm going to do now here is, I'm just going to go in, maybe just adding a couple of really sharp dust over here, and here, and you can see how effective that is. Now, what you can do is with a highlight you can go in, really light or hard, and if you think, "Oh no, I have put in too much of a highlight." It's so easy to blend it out. All you need to do is use your blending stump to just mute that highlight. I mean, look at that, look how easy that is, very lightly with the blending stump, mute out that highlight, and you've got such an advantage of using these tools to create beautiful beautiful work. Just give that a little blow, and there we have it. We can use these tools very creatively. You can add in some nice work to the edge of the table here, you can see we've got that nice little highlight going across and it works great. I mean, it depends on the type of work that you doing, if you doing realism or if you are doing abstract work, it really does not make any difference, these tools will work great whatever type of art that you are trying to produce. That was the quickest and easiest way to add highlights to your graphite beautiful artwork with some eraser pens and electric erasers. Now, let's look at the final technique of adding texture to our drawing, and then we can wrap up the class with our final class illustration. Let's move on to that on the next one. 13. Creating Textures: Let's now look at some texture work with graphite. Generally, you can create some beautiful textures, as we've already demonstrated. In the work that we've done up to this point, we've actually created some textures, we've created some smooth textures here, some of Roth, abstract if you like, textures over here. It works so fantastically when it comes to creating a variance of interest in your artwork. But what we can focus on now is actually creating some textures using the points of your pencils, the size and maybe the thin points on your mechanical pencils, just like you would in a pen and ink illustration. I mean, if you are interested in pen and ink, check out my pen and ink illustration class, where I go through various textures using ink, and a lot of those same principles will apply here, using graphite. What we can do here is on our illustration, I'm going to be using the mechanical pencil. If you remember, the mechanical pencil has the thinnest lead that goes inside it. If we use a mechanical pencil, we can add in some lights, lines over here, and we're effectively, all we're doing is creating some crosshatching lines. That will add that third dimension in terms of texture to your graphite work. Because ultimately, what you don't want is you don't want a flat piece of artwork, because it can sometimes be quite boring. But again, there's no right or wrong in art. If you like your artwork to look flat, if that's the impression that you want on your artwork, than go ahead and do that, there is no problem at all. Personally, I like to add in texture. You can see here, I've just added in these render lines, it gives the illusion that there is a bit of a texture on this surface and all I'm going to do is go the opposite way. You can see here. I'm just going the opposite way, to add in some texture. Now, you're not just limited to just adding lines, we can add in some stippling. We can even add in some really dark texture work. What works great with graphite is, again, like I mentioned before, the actual surface of the paper can create a beautiful texture, depending on the type of service that you're working on. If you're working on a thick surface, you can really bring out that texture. You can see, just with a little bit of crosshatching lines, I've created a little element of texture on this table. Again, I'm going the other way to just adding a little bit more interest, to not make it look a little too boring. I mean, effectively, we're just got a round ball and a table, that's all we've got, a ball. Why not add in some texture to make it look a little bit more interesting? What we can do now is, we can light lights and some of those texture lines with our blending stomp, just lightly bring them across, and you can see, it's adding a little bit more interest to the piece itself. You've got a nice little bit of texture work going on, some blends going on. That's basically it, you've got some really nice flexibility with graphite. Now if you use a really blunt pencil like I've got over here, you can create some really nice dotted stipples across your work, if that's what you want to do. I mean, it's just another option. Or if you want to use maybe a thin stipple line, can use maybe a sharp point, but just do remember that pencils will break, the lead brakes really easily, just be gentle with stippling, if that's the type of effect that you're after, stippling. But again, it's very effective, you can even do this on the ball, if you like to add some of the stipple lines. Stippling to the actual ball itself, just to give it a little bit of interest. That way you can use this. In fact, you can use this in multimedia work as well. If it's graphite, it's not the only thing that you are using through your work. It works really nice with ink as well, and that's a little bit more advanced for the beginner class. What we'll do is we'll just stick to these nice little textures that we've got here, just use some lines like this. You can also use scribble lines, scribble lines work really nice if you just create some scribbles, that adds another element to your drawing, makes it look even more interesting. That's pretty much it, the texture works. Stippling, crosshatching, and just a little bit of scribbling. It can really enhance your artwork and give it that third or fourth dimension. Now let's move on to the final complete sketch, using all of these techniques and tools, that we've gone through, to produce a nice, lovely little illustration. Let's move on to that on the next one. 14. Class Project: Welcome back. What we are going to be doing now is giving a complete illustration, and what I'd like you to do is complete a full illustration for your class projects. Practice the techniques that we've learned in the previous lessons. There were only four different techniques that we went through, and what I've got here is I've got a range of small little illustrations that I've done and I've incorporated all these techniques. What we can notice on these is that we have some simple shapes, just like we did before, adding in the darks, adding in the lice, creating a variance, and then basically just using the arrays at adding these highlights. I mean, this is just basic shape worth that we've got in the form of cups and bottles. Then we've also got some more Illustrated landscapes, scenes in the background here, I'll just show you this one that I've got here, so for this one, I've just got these round little balls. These are all made up sketches there is no studies from actual still life photography. At this stage, I would suggest just come up with some shapes, some round circles or just draw some bottles that align here around some circular objects, just to practice on to adding the darks and lights, they may seem it takes a long time to do this, but I promise you it doesn't, all it is is just following that simple step-by-step exercise, just like we did for the circle illustration that we did. All we did was we created the shape and then we added in the light and the dark, added in the highlights, and that's basically it. All we're doing is much more of that, so you can see here on these little round circles I have created, I've just made this up, created a little bow and a jug. Again, if you're not comfortable with making things up in terms of illustrations and by all means, just take a picture of a glass or a jar or some food and just give that an attempt to draw using these techniques so just outlining, adding in light, dark, bringing out highlights and just doing some blending work, and that's just great practice for you at this beginner stage. What I'll do is, I'll just quickly show you some of these ones that I have done, such as drew a little cake here again, just made it all up, and sometimes when you make things up, you don't have to worry about getting the proportions right. Again, these elements are, proportions are wrong in these sketches, but that's not what this beginner class is about, it's not about drawing perfectly, that comes at a later stage. This class is more about mastering or practicing some of these techniques just to get comfortable with, and then you can move on to actually creating some realistic things if that's what you want to do or just keep it abstract or just imaginary and whimsical like myself. You can see over here, we've just got these really like marks coming up, they're just impressions of what may be a landscape. Then again, over here I've got a little bit more dark work where we've got very stark contrast and that's what adds in interest, so I would suggest try doing something with a bit of stark contrast in your artwork, and then over here I've got something that adds in a little bit more detail where I've got this little cabin house, I've got little bits of boats floating around and a little bit of works in the sky where we've got these forthy elements. Again, that's all created with blending and using erases, so that's pretty much it. Then this final one, very abstract, very whimsical, just these triangular shapes, very impressionistic. Again, the idea really is to embrace that contrast, keep things dark, go really light on the background, and that's what we'll create the elements of interests in your illustration. What I'm going to do now is I'm going to create another one of these small little illustrations and then keep it really small, so it's going to be this size is just A6 in size, and I would recommend you do something similar, don't go doing a huge illustration on an A4 sheets of paper or in A3 sheets of paper. Keep it nice and small, keep it A6, A5, and just come up with an illustration for the class project and then build on that, practice the techniques and watch what I do on this next illustration where I will demonstrate everything and we'll do it in a quick time lapse so that you don't have to go through those techniques all over again, so I'll see you after this next illustration, and we'll round up the class and discuss some of our final thoughts. See you on the next one. 15. Quick Sketch: 16. Final Thoughts: Okay, welcome back. We're just going to go through some final thoughts now. It's the end of the class and hopefully this scopes some of the areas that we went through. In this lesson and overall, I hope you've achieved some basic knowledge of using graphite in the form of different types of graphite; pencils, pencil holders and leads. Also have incorporated some of the tools and techniques that we went through in the lessons such as blending, using blending stumps, to really enhance your artwork in the world of graphite. Now, I hope that you've tried out the exercises in this class and that would have hopefully led you to be more confident in putting together a nice little illustration, just like I did in the previous videos. So you've got yourself a nice little mini illustration. What I want you to just really think about is how to incorporate different techniques that we've gone through in different types of illustration. Whether it be landscapes, or it be this ghost, or whether it also be some kind of live, still like work or any other type of work. It will work so nicely. You've really start to build your skill level in this beautiful medium of graphite. Thank you so much for your time and your support and taking this class. I hope it's really enhanced your understanding of graphite at this early beginner level. Hopefully if you've completed your class project, I'd really like you to upload that project into the project gallery for all of us to have a look at that we can learn from each other. Please have a look at my profile page on Skill Share and have a look at the different classes that you may find interesting. Give them a go. Do some class projects and really expand your knowledge of art materials in this beautiful world of arts and design. Hopefully I'll see you in the next class. So take care of yourself. Keep sketching. Stay safe and well, and peace.